Desalination – The world is getting thirstier
When it comes to water consumption, here in the UK, we use approx. 150 litres of water a day per person and if we compare with USA where they get through some 570 litres a day per person.
The worlds demand for fresh water is rising by 640bn litres a year.
Desalination is more expensive than treating rainwater or waste water, at about £1.95 per m³, but pumping a cubic metre of fresh water distances of more than 200km requires more energy than desalinating the same amount of seawater. Many plants produce the bulk of their water at night when there is less demand for electricity, and utilise power that would otherwise go to waste.
Even here in the UK we have a seawater desalination plant. This plant is not routinely used and is there if we suffer severe drought, after a couple of dry winters.
However there is no wastewater recycling in London, food for thought with the knowledge of the rising demand.
As the world’s population continues to rise, the pressure on water resources are only going to increase. Let us hope that there will be technological advances to meet the demand.